The State of the Writer: 9/10/17

<–The State of the Writer: 9/3/17          The State of the Writer: 9/17/17–>

A weekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Finished This Week: 2

Project: Essay
Title: The Unfinished Seventh – An FFVII Comparative Essay

I managed to revive and finish a project I hadn’t touched in about sixth months in order to post it on September 7, 2017, the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII.  I worked on it for about eight hours straight on “due date” despite fatigue and brain fog standing in my way.  I was highly encouraged by posts on The Well-Red Mage’s and Cheap Boss Attack’s sites about Squeenix’s magnum opus, and I knew I had to finish so I could be counted amongst such great company.  It’s already generated some amazing discussions, and, like every essay, meta, or analysis I write, I learn a host of new things and am inspired with fresh ideas for later projects.  Feel free to give it a read if you’re interested in comparative analysis involving how Greek tragedy inspired numerous aspects of the FFVII narrative especially in regards to Sephiroth’s character arc!

Project: Book Review
Title: Stone & Iris
Author: Jonathan Ballagh

I’m making some headway on my mammoth book review pile, but I’d planned on reviewing one a day.  Ah the best laid plains…I’m at least happy I was able to get this review out there.  This brief story deserves all of the accolades and required two readings on the part of yours truly, which I’m not ashamed to admit.


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 261,408
Prior Word Count: 263,453
Word Difference: -2045
Status: Editing
Progress: First edit of Chapter 11

Hopefully, you’re not growing tired of feather pens.  I’ll probably keep this up throughout the first edit at least.  I’m cutting out a lot of words, as you can see from my word count above.  When I initially wrote it, I put in situations that would be better served elsewhere.  Since this is a letter chapter, I want it to be more about her thoughts/feelings and not necessarily more action based items.  But I also don’t want it to be boring and/or extraneous.  It’s a constant balancing act.

Quote: He’s never hurt me in any way, but his hands make me feel weaker.  It’s a different kind of weakness though, almost a sleepy one. 

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2016 Wrap Up

The arbitrary unit of time we know as 2016 has come to an end to much celebration for many.  I am a bit more reserved in my exuberance, since the future bleeds from the past, and the past twelve months have been less than fortuitous.  I try not to be a Morbid Mary, but my hopes for the future are…guarded at best.  Be that as it may, our little wet rock has taken another trip around its star.  Here I present what I’ve accomplished in that time, and what I’d like to accomplish before the next trip comes to a close.


The Question of the Week

This was a fun, little, weekly foray, and I greatly enjoyed coming up with questions and seeing all of your answers, but I’ve decided to end it.  Formulating a query and answering it took much longer than many would think, and I desperately need to dedicate my time to other things.  You can find all of the questions at the end of the above link.  Please feel free to answer any that strike your fancy!  I’m always up for a good discussion.


Books

2016 Goodreads Book Challenge: 20
Books “Completed” Per Goodreads: 21

Number of Books Finished: 18

  1. The Ghost of Buxton Manor
  2. The World of Ice and Fire
  3. The Tales of Yagath
  4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  5. Sigil
  6. The Mystical Qabalah
  7. The Red Rose
  8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  9. The Invisible Library
  10. The Rape of Lucrece
  11. Spectrum
  12. The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  13. Paradise Lost
  14. Windhaven
  15. Dreamsongs Volume II
  16. Taggerung
  17. The Light of the Fireflies
  18. Dreamsongs Volume I
  19. The Jade Dragon
  20. Magonia
  21. Chained

Links go to my reviews.  The review for The Ghost of Buxton Manor is pending, as I just finished that this past week. I’m planning audio (potentially video) reviews for Paradise Lost and The Rape of Lucrece, which is why they don’t have reviews.

I technically only completed 18 books, since The Invisible Library and Magonia were both DNF, but I guess because I put an end date, Goodreads counts them.

Favorite Book: The Ghost of Buxton Manor by Jonathon L. Ferrara – I haven’t reviewed this yet, but I’ll have a glowing one for your perusal before the year is much older.  At initial rating I gave it four stars, but I just upped that to five because it deserves it.  The novel is an utter delight, and I highly recommend it.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 9/17/16

<–The State of the Writer: 9/10/16          The State of the Writer: 9/24/16–>

A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 278,963
Prior Word Count: 277,651
Word Difference: +1312
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st Edit of Chapter 4

split-staircase

The picture is actually more connected to Chapter 3, but I really haven’t found much for Chapter 4 yet.  I’m still looking for an image for the chapter itself.  The stairs aren’t exactly as I envision them in my head either, but the fanciness and the chandelier are fairly equivalent.  In the story, the split happens after a single set of marble steps that lead to an opulent landing.  Pictures of that setup were sadly lacking though I found plenty of the opposite where two stairs converged into one.  I like the image above though as it fits with how I envision the second floor sort of balcony layout leading to more rooms and halls.  If I can’t afford opulence in my real life, I’ll damn sure write about it!

Last week Chapter 4 was in progress.  I manged to finish writing it and do the third edit of Chapter 3, which I stalled on in order to make sure it would flow nicely into 4.  I’m in the midst of Chapter 4’s edit right now.  I’m still hoping to finish that before the end of this weekend since Monday is when I return to work.

Quote: Sephiroth stopped before the set table.  Turned his head with tightly sealed eyes.  The general feared nothing except for his darkness, save corruption that lived in that light.  It could burn down the world and once nearly did, but now he was in control.  They could not be dormant, those alien cells.  They were part of him, bound to his blood.  That entity eldritch though no longer ruled.  Its destruction had been long assured.  The cells that existed no more felt the pull for there was no horror to draw them.  And yet the Great General never lost fear for in his heart now was dark fire.  To hear the last Ancient, the one he had killed, whose death would not cease from his soul, to hear her say men whom she’d died to save had done this turned him to a monster.  A nightmare to stalk those crumbling slums where laughter would drown in raw screams.


Project: Story
Title:
The Threads of Sorrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Retold Fairy Tale
Type: Original Short Story
Prior Word Count: 6787
Current Word Count: 6787
Word Difference: 0
Status: Critiques received
Progress: Need to review critiques

I looked over a few critiques in the beginning, but I can’t say I’ve made any progress on this story.  I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things soon.  The second edit still needs to happen with the critiques received in mind.  I really wanted to write the new Chapter 4.  I suppose it must be odd to people that I’d spend more time on a fanfiction that will get me nowhere rather than an original story that might, but I’ve never been one to only look at it like that.  While I obviously can’t do anything with the fanfiction in terms of “legitimate” publishing, that doesn’t mean the message in it isn’t important.  Plus it’s not like I’ve had much luck with “legitimate” publishing anyway.


Project: Vacation Essays
Genre: Various
Status: In Progress

Completed:

I attempted to work on my Half a Tragedy FFVII comparative post, but when I sat down to write it, I drew a complete blank on how to begin.  I worked on an outline yesterday though so hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll have something to show for it.

I didn’t work on the “Wide Awake” slideshow.  I was just…too tired to try to look for images for the words.  I also kind of want to transition to making AMVs, which is another kind of challenge.

No character analyses happened either.  I really feel like this year I accomplished much less on vacation, but then again last year I only really worked on my Editing Notes posts.  This year I tried to get out a variety of articles, and I’m still dealing with this chronic fatigue and dizziness, which I’m attempting to define (we’re not going to get into my horrible endocrinologist appointment right now.  Maybe in another post).

Oh, and I managed to finish a decade long reading of The Mystical Qabalah and post a review.


What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 9/10/16          The State of the Writer: 9/24/16–>

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My Top 5 Favorite Final Fantasy VII Posts

In honor of it being the 19th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII’s release in North American, I usually have a new essay prepared to publish on this date. Alas that is not the case this year.  I haven’t had time to draft the myriad articles I still want to write, so I must resort to narcissism of the most shameful kind and give you (literally) my top five favorite FFVII posts.  These are the ones I’ve written over the years.  If you’ve already read and enjoyed them, I thank you in advance, and if this if your first time seeing them, I thank you in the future.


5. The Sum of Our Grief

Original Post Date: October 4, 2015

When I started doing macros, I never thought it explode into so many.  Also two years ago I knew absolutely nothing about photo editing and manipulation, so I’ve learned quite a lot from my forays into it.

The Sum of Our Grief2

This is my favorite one out of the three I made (per the link).  Anything with Sephiroth and Lucrecia breaks my heart so I’m just going to move onto…

4.  Full of Grace

Original Post Date: March 4, 2016

The true original post date is actually earlier.  I updated the entry because I updated the video on YouTube.  I’m not sure when I first put this up, but I suspect it was sometime in 2015.

This was my very first slideshow, and so far I’m still pretty proud of it.  I’ve only had time to make three others, and I want to graduate to AMVs soon, but I imagine those will take even more time.

I absolutely adore this song.  It started reminding me of their ship while I was writing Northern Lights, Chapter 14 to be exact.  Now I can’t listen to it without seeing the images I chose and even some I made up for the novel length fanfiction.  The next entry is a more recent work…

3.  The Seventh Is the Darkest

Original Post Date: July 15, 2016

Doctor Who Macro 2

Only a few months old, this essay was a few years in the making.  I always knew VII was dark, but the older I grew and the more I read, the deeper the shadows grew.  I knew I’d have to gather them together in one place (dangerous as that might be) so I could present them to you.  However, there’s another essay that ranks even higher than this…

2.  Heart of Darkness, Angel of Light – The Defense of Sephiroth

Original Post Date: August 5, 2015

Although this essay languished in my brain for over ten years, took me two weeks to write, and cost me numerous tears, I wouldn’t take it back for the world (nope, not even to catch the meteor.  Sorry).  While looking at it a year later, there are some things I might eventually clean up and polish, the core of it is solidly in place.  Though at inception I never planned to not only defend Sephiroth but several people from ASOIAF, an utterly different work, but if in comparison I can offer up other defenses to persuade, I won’t scoff at that.

I refer to this essay quite a bit, and have been pulled into some pretty brutal arguments because of it.  Nevertheless, I continue to find more evidence (possibly because I’m biased towards it.  Hey, I acknowledge it) to support, and I’m trying to foster an attitude that welcomes friendly debate.

1. Northern Lights

Original Post Date: March 27, 2015

Northern Lights Blurb

To date Northern Lights is the best story I’ve ever written.  It was a labor of love and a fantastic learning experience both personally and as a writer.  I wrote it to resolve a grave injustice I know the game (not even the Remake) ever would.  I already talk about NL ad nauseum (and have another Editing Blog post on my day planner to write), so the last thing I’ll say is if my original paranormal romance novel The Serpent’s Tale is every published, it was one, very obviously inspired by the Aeriseph OTP, and two, Northern Lights was written on the template of it.  Therefore if it’s published and if you read it (two huge ifs) don’t think you’ve lost your marbles if you notice that.  It’s not a coincidence.  Sometimes writers have to be lazy or sometimes we just recycle ideas we’ve already thought up.


So there’s my tribute to my favorite story of all time Final Fantasy VII, though it’s not like I’m not constantly writing love letters to it even in posts that aren’t about FFVII.  I try not to let this day pass without saying something about it especially since it invokes triple sevens being SEPTember 7, 1997, which I just mentioned in a comment to one of my lovely blog followers, though I cannot remember which one.

Let me know your favorite character and favorite FFVII song in the comments.  My favorite character is obviously Sephiroth, but Aeris and Vincent are very close for the heroic ones (she’s slightly higher than him).  There are too many songs I love to just pick one.

  • One Winged Angel
  • You Can Hear the Cry of the Planet
  • Aeris’s Theme
  • Tifa’s Theme

I look forward to your replies!